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Jabsco 'water puppy' shower waste water pump — fixable?


AftApeth
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Hello. Pump to drain the shower tray stopped working a couple of weeks ago. The normal thirsty gargling sound was replaced by a dull thud for split second and then nothing. I thought it might be blocked pipes but I've taken the pump out now and the pipes seem clear. Pump is still making only a slight dull clunk and wriggling a tiny bit. See video, where I'm flicking the switch on and off. Does this just mean the pump has gone? 

 

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/294p69m8vhv2wma/20200827_190801.mp4?dl=0

 

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First off the water puppy has proven itself over many years in hire boat service as a shower pump. Its problem is that without fancy extras you have to push a button to drain the shower because its a rubber impellor pump that must not run dry. I bought a 10 year old hire boat and 20 years later the water Puppy was still working well.

 

As the pump kicks as its energised it looks to me as if something other than seizure is stopping the impellor turning so take the  bottom plate off to expose the impeller and see if anything is jambing it. 3 or 6 screws plus a new gasket and impeller if needed.

 

Once the impeller is out you can try twisting the shaft. If it won't revolve I expect a bearing has seized up. That's when you price up a Whale and a Water Puppy

Edited by Tony Brooks
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47 minutes ago, AftApeth said:

Hello. Pump to drain the shower tray stopped working a couple of weeks ago. The normal thirsty gargling sound was replaced by a dull thud for split second and then nothing. I thought it might be blocked pipes but I've taken the pump out now and the pipes seem clear. Pump is still making only a slight dull clunk and wriggling a tiny bit. See video, where I'm flicking the switch on and off. Does this just mean the pump has gone? 

 

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/294p69m8vhv2wma/20200827_190801.mp4?dl=0

 

Maybe an earring in the workings

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11 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

First off the water puppy has proven itself over many years in hire boat service as a shower pump. Its problem is that without fancy extras you have to push a button to drain the shower because its a rubber impellor pump that must not run dry. I bought a 10 year old hire boat and 20 years later the water Puppy was still working well.

 

As the pump kicks as its energised it looks to me as if something other than seizure is stopping the impellor turning so take the  bottom plate off to expose the impeller and see if anything is jambing it. 3 or 6 screws plus a new gasket and impeller if needed.

 

Once the impeller is out you can try twisting the shaft. If it won't revolve I expect a bearing has seized up. That's when you price up a Whale and a Water Puppy

Thanks very much Tony for helping me sort this. It's fixed for now. It isn't the first time over the years you've helped me learn how something works and fix it myself. 

 

So it turns out it was a jam. Two of the rubber arms had broken off and jammed up at the narrowest point. I've pulled those out and the pump is working fine on four of the original six arms. 

 

Much more straightforward than I feared. Rubber on the remaining arms feels slightly hard and old now so they may not have a long life left in them. Those little arms get bent right back on every revolution, so must be under a fair bit of strain. But the pump is doing its job again for now. 

 

20200828_080136.jpg

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Just now, blackrose said:

That's the difference between an impeller pump and a diaghram pump I guess? I've never heard of a whale gulper diaphram getting brittle and splitting. The rubber arms on impellers bend over and lose efficiency or snap off and fail all the time.

We don't know how old that Jabsco pump is. It might be in excess of 30 years like mine was. How many Gulpers do we know that are 30 years old so maybe not a completely fair comparison.

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3 minutes ago, WotEver said:

Time for a new impeller. That one won’t last for long at all. 

https://www.pumpsalesdirect.co.uk/jabsco-water-puppy-impeller-6303-0003b.html

Half that price here:

https://repowermarine.com/index.php/impeller-for-jabsco-water-puppy-replaces-7273-0003-6303-0003.html

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1 minute ago, Tony Brooks said:

We don't know how old that Jabsco pump is. It might be in excess of 30 years like mine was. How many Gulpers do we know that are 30 years old so maybe not a completely fair comparison.

I was talking more generally. I've replaced quite a few impellers from various types of pumps. My whale gulper is now 15 years old and I've never touched it since I installed it.

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14 minutes ago, AftApeth said:

Thanks very much Tony for helping me sort this. It's fixed for now. It isn't the first time over the years you've helped me learn how something works and fix it myself. 

 

So it turns out it was a jam. Two of the rubber arms had broken off and jammed up at the narrowest point. I've pulled those out and the pump is working fine on four of the original six arms. 

 

Much more straightforward than I feared. Rubber on the remaining arms feels slightly hard and old now so they may not have a long life left in them. Those little arms get bent right back on every revolution, so must be under a fair bit of strain. But the pump is doing its job again for now. 

 

 

 

That is exactly what I thought may have happened, it even seems your pump uses an O ring rather than  a gasket. If it was not a impellor rings I was expecting a hair grip, cotton bud stick or matchstick. The photo seemed to have the pump mounted vertically, keep it that way and it it is mounted horizontally change it to vertical with the pump at the bottom. It helps reduce the potential for getting water into the motor.

 

You need to change that impellor today, if no special grease comes with the new impeller give it a light smear of plumbers silicon pipe assembly lubricant or if you don't have that dip it in washing up liquid as you fit it to lubricate it while it sucks  water into the chamber.

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4 minutes ago, blackrose said:

I was talking more generally. I've replaced quite a few impellers from various types of pumps. My whale gulper is now 15 years old and I've never touched it since I installed it.

I agree that loads of Jabsco impellers, probably thousands, are changed each year but what duty are the pumps doing. Engine cooling pumps run far longer per year than shower pumps and I guess

things like bait box pumps etc. are similar.

 

I have definitely had Whale manual bilge pumps with diaphragm problems, either hardened or  split. I am not saying there is anything wrong with a Whale but I was pointing out that one contributors assertion that the OP needed to fit a Whale was arguably somewhat poor advice.

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7 minutes ago, WotEver said:

I think the best advice would be “Never run it dry”. 

Agreed but it is normally almost impossible to run a properly installed Waterpuppy shower pump dry if its been properly installed because there shoudl be a slight swan neck in the inlet hose so when the pump is stopped any water in the outlet hose runs back and lodges in the pump.

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Thanks all. So the consensus seems to be that it's imperative to replace the impeller before using the pump again. I'm moored in the middle of nowhere between Aynho and Banbury at the moment, but I'll try to get one sent somewhere and in the meantime will avoid straining the pump and continue to sponge out my shower water into a bowl in the rock n roll manner to which I've become accustomed. 

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Personally for a few days I doubt using it will cause anything dramatic. Which way are you going? If south then unless Tooleys stock them I expect it will be Abingdon Boat Services. If moving north then try Fenny marina but I suspect it will be Calcutt who I am sure will stock them.

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12 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Personally for a few days I doubt using it will cause anything dramatic. Which way are you going? If south then unless Tooleys stock them I expect it will be Abingdon Boat Services. If moving north then try Fenny marina but I suspect it will be Calcutt who I am sure will stock them.

North for now. I haven't made it to Banbury yet so I'll call ahead to Tooley's and see if they have one or can order one in – good idea. 

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